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The Weather Network
Jun. 20, 2019 | Thursday
Local News
Hometown Heroes: Bill Maartense
Bill Maartense has been a volunteer firefighter since 2017. (Supplied/Town of NOTL)


My name is Bill Maartense, I am 54 years old, and I was part of the 2017 Recruit Campaign. I heard a rumor, but cannot verify, that I may be the oldest new recruit to come through the program.

I am a lifelong resident of the Niagara Region, but have only lived in Niagara-on-the-Lake since 2014. My son is a full-time firefighter in Burlington. I have always had an interest in Fire Services, but life took me in a different route.

The Fire Services in Niagara-on-the-Lake offered me an opportunity, through the Volunteer Firefighter program, to become an active part of my community. I also have the privilege of being a part of a group of likeminded men and women (new friends) that also serve the community they live in. In the last year I have learned, not only about firefighting, but about responding in general to a multitude of situations. It has been a fantastic experience, and challenging both physically and mentally.

I started training January 2018 and completed basic training in June. Besides normal calls, we meet and complete further training on Monday nights. New recruits receive the equivalent of basic training to someone in the full-time firefighting service. As a firefighter I tend to think more about my general fitness, and have more of an awareness to things happening around me.

I feel that the NOTL Volunteer Firefighter program is a perfect opportunity to learn a new skill set, meet others in your community, and give back, just that little bit, to the beautiful community we live in. This is not just for the young, but also the young at heart, and anyone with a passion for people and their community.

Like any volunteer program, the NOTL Fire Services depends on committed people willing to get involved. Give it a shot, fill out an application, and talk to someone about it. We need you!

Interested in joining Bill and becoming a volunteer firefighter for the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake? Visit and apply today!

The deadline to submit an application is April 30, 2019. Information sessions will be held on April 17, 2019 at 7 p.m. at Station 5 (Glendale) and April 25, 2019 at 7 p.m. at Station 1 (Old Town) for interested parties and their families to learn about the application process and the amount of time required in the role of a firefighter.